Thursday, December 30, 2010

a little about sketchbooks (a year in review)

I was sitting in the kitchen this evening, talking with my sister while flipping through my current sketchbook. It only has three blank pages left, so it's pretty well finished. I looked at every page, and started remembering (out loud, bless my sister) when I drew things and why I drew things and what was happening around the time the drawings came about. Reminiscing like a crazy. But it was incredible! Some people have photo albums, you know?
My sketchbook is a collection of organized lines that bookmark thoughts I was having at a certain time. The pictures don't have to do anything with anything, but I still can remember what I was thinking then.

This might just be another developing argument for keeping a sketchbook and putting something into it every day. Sometimes it's drawing the cup on the table again, or sometimes it's writing the name of a song down. There's a lot to be said about improving drawing skills through daily life drawing, but even when I don't feel motivated enough to tackle some minuscule visual concept, something about throwing some more lines on a page makes me feel better, like I'm tabbing my place.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I'm coming to the end of another sketchbook. One more sketchpage and I'll be on a new one.
This one features a couple characters I made up. They work in a supermarket.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

winter house

Yesterday we had one of the grandest blizzards this city has (probably) ever had. I couldn't do any Christmas shopping or errand running or anything that required moving out of a single room!
Watercolor, gouache and ink on 300 lb cold press

My scanner isn't hooked up, hence the funfetti table photo.
Also a blizzard production: the Metrodome caved in. Y'know. Again.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

winter room

Sketchbook drawing, complete with the sketchbook attached!


I'm trying to finish this sketchbook up. Yikes, my desk is disgusting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


There's been evidence in some previous sketch pages that I've been watching Dragonball and Dragonball Kai. Finally I decided to compile a bunch of the remaining drawings and put them together for a wholly Dragon Ball page.
Kai has made it very difficult to have a favorite character.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I've been watching a few old Disney movies on repeat for nearly a week now, to brighten my spirits while working. I will be honest, some of them are not as appealing as I once thought they were. Some of them, though, are almost more enjoyable.

Here's Mr. Potts and Truly in homage to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Truly Scrumptious

Saturday, November 27, 2010

post Thanksgiving

Sketches! Who'd've thought?
That one other teacup is in there–there's a watercolor sketch based on it around here somewhere.
Colors applied with Corel Painter, naturally.

Hope everyone had an excellent Thanksgiving! Presently I'm enjoying leftover Angel Food Jello cake.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Self indulgent art ahoy. Here's the other main character (and my absolute favorite in every book), Christopher Chant. He also happens to be big man Chrestomanci himself, even though this before he officially gains the role.
While Conrad's quite a bit more down-to-earth (look at that melancholy demeanor), Christopher can be kind of arrogant and pompous.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I'm in the process of reading the Chrestomanci series, by Dianna Wynne Jones. I've got one left, and so far one of my favorites is Conrad's Fate. Here's the title character, done in Painter.


His uncle signs him up to work in a manor as a manservant with ulterior motives. I enjoy the setting of the book a lot, because it means everybody is dressed nicely and the environment is all...fancy and wealthy. I like the characters a lot, too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

step by step

Took advantage of Painter's iterative save function to record the process of a quick demo painting for a class.

I used that same sketch of a paper tea cup to make a sort of sloppy framework sketch

Blocked in the colors, mostly for the sake of value

Redefined areas and tones

Started finessing, adding detail and brightening and darkening areas

Last one. Worked in a tiny bit more detail and added some cooler hues to the shadows to balance out the green-y yellow.

It's still just a color sketch, but I think I'm good with it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

autumn things

I guess autumn's pretty over. There's a smattering of stuff I drew walking around MCAD campus.
Character stuff too. Red hair and hat guy are the same dude–Shanks, my favorite from One Piece. He's a pirate.
Also, the Philly roll from Fuji-ya. Highly recommended.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I watched a bunch of demos this evening and was reinvigorated to try new things in Painter. This piece is quite a mess, and I may never finish it, but I had a fun time for awhile and I'm even more excited about the program. There's a wealth of potential!
I'm also excited about learning to paint well.
I'm really just excited about learning art things in general; it's really a privilege to be able to study art.
To start this piece I drew from photos from a trip to LA I took earlier this year. Someday I'll make a a real piece of that place. LA, whatever you actually are, you've maintained a magical, shining image in my mind.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I draw a lot of cups and cats in my sketchbook. Here's another cup from a watercolor demo.

Also, if you don't already, you may like the Paper Bicycle blog. The folks from work (myself included) share cool stuff over there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gray day

(I did not realize, until this moment, that "gray" and "grey" can be used interchangeably. I thought I just never knew how to spell that color.)
Life drawing, some of my characters, one One Piece thing, and the dudes at the top are that Inception guy. Not Leo. One of the other ones.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Painter painting

I started this one in Adobe Photoshop CS 5, actually. There are simulated brushes in that program and I think I kind of like'm. Then I brought it into Painter to see how I'd feel about that. Time to start using new brushes.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Some Wrinkle in Time stuff up there, on the right. Had to get in Meg and Calvin.
Also, if that coffee cup (though it's actually tea) looks familiar, it should be. I used that sketch to make the watercolor painting at few posts ago.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

last of AK

Just the remaining sketches from Alaska. Hence the mountains. There are beautiful mountains all over up there.
At some point I found out through my friend who was taking care of the cats that they had gotten into a bag of rice and were pushing it around. Bad cats. So that is what's happening in the drawing in the upper left.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Last week I had the chance to do some small watercolor paintings for a demo in my friend's class (which was awesome, by the by. A great class with some great students) and it was a lot of fun! I often forget how much I love that medium.


Yes, another of my cat. She's a lot of fun to depict; she's just a shape with some colors on her.
These are painted on 160 lb Fabriano cold press. With some paint and some water and stuff.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

working winter

Presently I'm making an image for my grandma's Christmas card. Funnily enough, she requested I use the character from my Animation 1 final. Sometimes I like to pretend old pieces didn't happen, but it's nice when you can break things apart and reuse them.

Picture 1


Friday, October 1, 2010

once more, with color

These are from AK too. I did some digital sketching, though the OP one on the top had a pre-Alaska real sketch framework.
I heard some of The Hobbit on audiobook while there. It's an appropriate thing to listen to while in Alaska. So many mountains.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alaska again

This one's got a little more evidence of the trip than the previous ones. A few of the drawings are from places I saw. The bottom scene was drawn from the top of a mountain. It was incredible!
Also, I was reacquainted with Hercule Poirot while I was there. He's the best.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some more Alaskan sketches

Character things and a few life drawings scattered throughout:
The many babies were from a barbeque I went to with some friends. There were many babies there. Babies are fun to draw because they're round and blobby.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pantone Primaries

Some from AK, some from home, and some from that weird middle area called the airport.
The top one is the view from my own window. The pale little kid is Charles Wallace Murray, from "A Wrinkle in Time". He's a perennial fav.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

those guys

Some of the grocery store characters, younger and waiting to be put to use. I've got a few ideas for what this story will become, but I've got priorities. For now these guys are for me to draw when I need to draw something else.
I started drawing a few on the plane and then had to do the set.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A girly sort of post

I have not posted in awhile. I've been in Alaska(!) having a grand time, experiencing a new place and hanging out with some really great people. But I'm back now, and that means I've got a lot of posting to do to remedy my absence. I may be posting here more frequently for a little bit!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

new sketchbook

First batch of sketches from the new sketchbook. I love this one.
The only small problem I have with it is that it's a little tricky to work on a page spread, or on the left side of the sketchbook since it's a thick softcover book. Getting used to that is a small price to pay for how awesome it is, though.
Lots of observation drawing, some characters, and some tiny bits of Dragon Ball characters in there. Krillin is my favorite.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The End of the Sketchbook!

This is the last page of sketches coming from the now full sketchbook! I'm always thrilled to finish a sketchbook. It's become a thing: I start hunting for my next one a few weeks before gauging the sketchbook will be finished, then purchase the next one very close to its end. I went out today and bought it, and I'm very excited to start it.
Some original characters, a Christopher Chant from the Dianna Wynne Jones books down in the left corner there, Sherlock from the new series near the top, and my apple loving cat near the middle.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fancy cats

Here are some pieces of a fun project done during the Paper Bicycle freetime.
I'll be sure to keep this blog posted about where it goes. Just wait and'll never guess.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Spyhouse evening

Colored pencil and ballpoint in the sketchbook.
In some earlier posts I mentioned about how a place can have so much to it that it is a like a character itself. When making some drawings of places, I can't help but think about how it's not only place but time that has its own identity.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

this and that

Keeping it fresh and varied like a tossed salad.
with two ingredients.

And here's a (fan art) sketch that I'm working on digitally coloring. One Piece, you know. Gotta love some brothers.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Straight from the book

Observation from the plane.
I enjoy how planes have their own weird sort of gracefulness. They're giant, and I suppose at first pretty cumbersome due to their size and odd shape, but because of it they move so carefully. Slowly too, until they take off, which is another marvel.

This current sketchbook is newsprint. I like it okay.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

See ya, Seattle

Last sketch page posted from Seattle! Tomorrow (or very nearly) I'll be back home!
There's probably more evidence of Seattle in this page than any of the others. Some environment sketching–that one in the bottom corner is is the tunnel the buses and rail takes underground. People life sketches are from public transportation and the mall.

Seattle's a great place, I think. But...Minneapolis <3.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

End of June sketches

Also, from Seattle. The life drawing bits are from the public transportation system.
The dog is a characterized version of my family's new guy. We like him a lot.


Went for a walk around my sister's neighborhood. It's kind of hilly, and the view over the freeway is really lovely.
Picture 5
It's much further in the distance in real life, but I sort of like that. Something about looking at the horizon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello Seattle

I'm staying with my sister in Seattle for a couple weeks! The following sketch pages are from the train ride here.

The best part definitely was going through the Rockies. They're incredible. It's worth taking the train for.

Lots of hills, lots of plains, lots of clouds, and at one point, lots of giant windmills. Also one small Lackadaisy cat, Ivy.
Next time I should have sketches from the actual (pretty wonderful) city.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Early June sketches

I really think the solution to drawing things besides cats is for me to get some exotic pets. Hey Arnold is thrown in there to mix it up a little. My sibs remember that show, right?

Sunday, May 23, 2010